NSFAS 2024 Allowance Increases Released



Students funded by NSFAS in 2024 will receive increased allowance payments from the government bursary scheme. The minister of higher education announced several NSFAS allowance increases. 


Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande has provided a comprehensive update to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances for the academic year 2024. Several of the allowances received by students funded by NSFAS have increased for the current academic year. 

Nzimande highlighted key adjustments aimed at improving NSFAS support for both university and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college students. The minister also provided the allowances for NSFAS-funded students living with disabilities. 

University Students Living Allowance

Starting with university students, the living allowance has been set at R16,500 for the year 2024. This includes a R3,045 personal care allowance and a R13,455 meal allowance.

TVET Living Allowance 

The Minister expressed his satisfaction in announcing an increase in the TVET living allowance, raising it from R6,000 to R10,000. This initiative is part of ongoing efforts to establish parity between the University and TVET sectors, marking a significant milestone in fostering transformation within the TVET sector.

Travel and Accommodation Allowances

Students will have the option to qualify for either a travel allowance or an accommodation allowance. The accommodation allowance received by students will be based on whether they reside in accommodation in metro or non-metro areas.

Accommodation Caps

All institutions owned or leased, and private accommodation will be capped at R50,000 in metro areas and R41 000 in all other areas per academic year. 

Students living in institution-catered accommodation qualify for a maximum allowance capped at R66,500 in metros and R57,500 in all other areas per annum. (accommodation inclusive of the living allowance and personal care).

The Minister revealed that Institutions may request NSFAS to review accommodation caps in exceptional circumstances. These requests must be submitted with a detailed motivation and supporting evidence. 

Learning Material Allowance

All university students are entitled to a learning material allowance, capped at a maximum of R5,460 for the 2024 academic year. This allowance is intended for the purchase of academic books, materials, and/or a learning device, with only one allowance provided per student per academic year.

Distance Education Programs

Allowances for students in distance education programs are calculated based on the number of courses registered, with a maximum cap of R5,460. Distance university students enrolled in an equivalent full-time course credit load qualify for a personal care allowance of R3,045 per academic year, requiring a minimum registration of 120-course credits.

TVET College Accommodation Allowances

TVET college-owned catered residences in metros are capped at R60,000, and in other areas, the cap is set at R51,000. TVET college students may qualify for either the travel allowance or the accommodation allowance.

Occupational Qualification Exception

The minister revealed that TVET college students registered in an occupational qualification may qualify for allowances only if engaged in simulated training. Students with an employment contract and stipend payment do not qualify for NSFAS allowances.

Allowances For Students With Disabilities

Students with disabilities are eligible for living allowances, including meals, at R20,000 per academic year. University students with disabilities qualify for a learning materials allowance of R6,000 per academic year, while the TVET college learning material allowance is included in the cost of tuition.

Assistive Devices Allowance

The Assistive Devices Allowance has been limited to an actual cost of R50,000 as a one-time allowance. Additionally, students with disabilities qualify for repairs and maintenance of assistive devices up to the value of R2,000 per academic year. 

Notably, automatic eligibility for these allowances is not granted, and approval is contingent on a successful application meeting the conditions and criteria outlined in the policy standard.

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